Mitochondria Dysfunction Occurs Early in Alzheimer’s Disease Prior to Memory Loss, Amyloid Deposits

Mitochondria are specialized subunits inside a cell that produce the cell’s energy and regulate its metabolism. Research suggests that mitochondria may play a central role in neuronal cell survival because they regulate both energy metabolism and cell death pathways. Using genetic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers from Mayo Clinic have found that mitochondria in the brain are dysfunctional early in the disease. The findings were recently published in the open access journal PLoS ONE.


The Cancer Genome Atlas Reports Molecular Characterization of Brain Tumors

A large-scale, multi-dimensional analysis of the genomic characteristics of glioblastoma, the most common primary brain tumor in adults, provides new insights into the roles of several genes and defines core biological pathways altered in tumor development [1]. The new Cancer Genome Atlas study, published in the September 4th advanced online edition of the journal Nature, also reveals a link between the DNA repair enzyme MGMT and a hypermutation phenotype, and has potential implications for the diagnosis and treatment of glioblastoma.

Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer. Patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma have a median survival of approximately one year with generally poor response to therapy [2]. Gene expression profiling studies suggest multiple subtypes of glioblastoma that, when fully defined, may allow for more personalized therapeutic approaches [3-4].